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Dorm Room Essentials Checklist

You worked hard in high school. You submitted your applications. But it all paid off when you were accepted to the Historically Black College or University (HBCU) of your dreams. Congrats! Now, campus awaits. 

While most students won’t move to campus until August, now is the time for parents, new students, and their families to start buying their dorm room essentials. Here at The Drill, we’ve created this college dorm checklist for students heading off to college for the first time. (It might also be helpful for returning students who want to get ready for that off-campus move.) 

The list below contains a wide variety of items that most students will need. However, students and parents should remember the following: 

  • Focus on your needs. This list contains a wide range of items. Of course, everything you buy should reflect your unique, personal needs. You may not want or need everything on this list.
  • Check in with your roommates. If you’ll be sharing your room with others, talk to them to discuss who will bring which items. Not only will this save time and money, but it can also be a nice way to get to know the folks you’ll be spending most of your time with on campus. 
  • Ask questions. Before buying anything on this college dorm checklist, students and parents should ask their HBCU if there are any restrictions on what students can bring. Other questions parents and first-year students should ask their HBCUs include 
  • What are the dimensions of the dorm room? 
  • Will the college provide furniture (desks, chairs, mattresses, etc.)? 
  • What size are the dorm’s beds? 
  • How much storage space (including closets, under-bed space, basement storage, etc.) will students get? 
  • Is the dorm air-conditioned?  
  • How many outlets can each student access? 
  • Are students allowed to hang items on the walls? If so, does the college restrict what they can use to secure items to walls? 
  • Will students have access to a personal or shared kitchen?
  • Will students have access to cleaning supplies, or should they bring their own?  

Here is a list of recommended items to get your dorm room ready for college. 


We hope this list helps you prepare as you start your new life as an HBCU student. Good luck throughout your HBCU journey!

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